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Monday, December 6, 2010


  Dick Cheney was a very wealthy man prior to becoming vice president of the United States in 2001. He garnered his vast wealth in a variety of ways, including running Halliburton , a corporation that was rewarded handsomely 2with defense contracts during the 2 current wars. War does pay when you're a government official lining his pockets with taxpayer dollars. But occasionally, someone doesn't want to play ball, at least for free.

  This is exactly what occurred in 1995 in Nigeria. A consortium known as TSKJ was awarded a handsome contract with the oil-rick nation. Cheney acquired Kellogg, the K in the consortium and merged it with another of Halliburton's companies. Between 1995 and 2002, Cheney buddy Jack Stanley paid out $166 million in bribes, much of which was during Cheney's reign as CEO of Halliburton. Halliburton and Kellogg have been fined $579 million in connection with corruption in Nigeria, and Nigeria is readying charges against Cheney and others, with official charges to be filed later this week. But he's not going to have to pay for any of his crimes in Nigeria or elsewhere.

  Nigeria has made many appeals to the U.S. government, but Dick Cheney remains holed up in Maryland, refusing to budge. Even when the appeal makes Interpol, U.S. officials have clearly stated that they will not extradite Cheney to Nigeria or any other country and have assigned a small army of Secret Service officers to protect him from justice. And guess who's paying for it?

  So WHY is the U.S. protecting an ally from so much as questioning Dick Cheney? It's quite simple really. The reason is that once Nigeria exposes how corrupt Cheney is, other snakes will come out of the pit. Such an extradition will open the door for Cheney, George Bush, and others to be prosecuted not only for their business dealings before and during the Bush administration, but war crimes. The U.S. has a peculiar relationship with war crimes proceedings, being more than willing to hunt Nazis and Serbs, but expecting their own to be able to behave as they wish. This is not only an ethically flawed view, but poor foreign policy in a time when the U.S. is already looked upon with myopic eyes.

   Just as Guantanamo Bay has proven that you cannot fight atrocities by committing them yourself, you cannot  speak out against corruption in South America and elsewhere by offering refuge to self-centred criminals. It is hypocritical to ignore Interpol in some instances while begging for their help in tracking down other fugitives from justice. The U.S. needs to state to the world that the value of equally-applied justice is something that they as a nation holds true. To demonstrate otherwise further disconnects the United States from the world as a whole in a time when the U.S. needs her allies more than anytime in recent history.

  It is not only morally but fiscally irresponsible to hold any man above the law and pay for his security when a nation is swimming in debt and watching global opinion go the way of the Dodo. Dick Cheney has continually demonstrated that he values his own needs above those of others, and it's high time that one more megalomaniac is brought down to Earth.

  However, i'm realistic. I am reasonably certain that everyone but Cheney will see the inside of a Nigerian courtroom. The former vice President will live out his days in the cozy confines of St. Michael's mansion, consuming champagne by the tanker truckload and bedding down beneath the finest textiles. Surrounded by a taxpayer-funded entourage, he'll enjoy fishing America's bluest rivers and black-tie banquets. Dick Cheney will continue to live the billionaire life to which he is accustomed to with the only change being his choice of vacation destinations. He'll quietly fund candidates that will never permit his extradition and when he dies, no estate taxes shall be paid on any of the houses that the modern-day mafia built.

  If you think crime doesn't pay, you don't know Dick.

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